finding the inspiration

It isn’t always easy to find meaningful topics to blog about. Not to mention the fact that life gets in the way, and frequently, you don’t get the opportunity to just take a moment and appreciate all the amazing things you got going on. It’s been about 8 months since my last entry and I feel like so many spectacular things have happened to me.

At the airport with Justin

At the airport with Justin

I’ll start with the month of December. For me, this was an exciting month. For obvious reasons it meant that Christmas was fast approaching, but more importantly, my boyfriend, Justin, would be coming home from Ireland for the holidays. At this point, we had been apart for 4 months, so it was really nice to spend some quality time with each other and our families.

Another special moment, was when my brother and sister-in-law told the family at Christmas that they are expecting a baby in summer 2015. After an extremely tough 6 months, with the loss of my niece, Isla (A Journey of Grief), it was a bittersweet moment of joy to find out that we would be welcoming another little one into this world. With it now being just over a year, my family has had time to heal and we couldn’t be happier for them. I’m so looking forward to meeting my little nephew at the end of the month!

This brings me to the month of March. My first trip on a plane by myself. First stop, Ireland.

Justin picked me up at the airport and I spent a few days with him in Limerick. While Justin had classes, I was able to explore the downtown city centre. There’s something so exhilarating about being in a place, by yourself, navigating through unknown territory. The city lies on the River Shannon and has a vast variety of old architecture, lush pastures, unique shops and local pubs. Definitely worth traveling to.

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After seeing Justin’s home away from home, we were on our way to our next travel destination. Paris! For anyone who doesn’t knows me, I have been dying to go to Paris for years. So when Justin and I decided to book the trip and go, I was ecstatic. We rented a quaint little apartment through Airbnb, which was located in the 3rd arrondissement. Once we arrived, it was beginning to get dark, so as soon as we got settled in, we decided to head over to the Champ de Mars. I will never forget the feeling I had when I got off the metro and finally, after months of anticipation, walked the streets of Paris. My face hurt from smiling so much. We turned the corner, and there she was. The most magnificent, breath-taking piece of architecture I have ever seen. The Eiffel Tower.

During our stay, it was impossible to see everything Paris has to offer. But, we were able to see the iconic architecture, taste the delicious food, explore the chic boutiques, and experience Parisian culture. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the trip.

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Eiffel Tower (Day and Night)

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Garden Shop (near Notre Dame) and Pont des Arts (love lock bridge)

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Sacré-Cœur and Moulin Rouge (Montmarte)

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Arc de Triomphe and Candles at Notre Dame Cathedral

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Musée d’Orsay and The Catacombs of Paris

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Palace of Versaille (Inside) and Jardin du Luxembourg

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Notre Dame Cathedral and Palace of Versailles

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The Louvre and Our love lock on Pont des Art

After our time in Paris, we flew back to the Emerald Isle and landed ourselves in Dublin! I had traveled to Dublin once before as a child, but let me tell you, it is much better as an adult. During the day we walked around the city and in the evening we enjoyed a few pints at The Temple Bar. Again, here are a few photos I took along the way.

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St. Stephen’s Green and Flowers at Dublin Castle

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Entrance way to the garden at Dublin Castle

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Christ Church Cathedral and The Temple Bar

On to the next adventure…

separated by ocean

For those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend of a year and a half just moved out to Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Being separated by 3212 miles is not the most ideal situation for the two of us. However, I’m so unbelievably proud of all his hard work to get to where he is today and I stand by him 100%.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean this hasn’t been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Leading up to his last days in Canada, I was handling it all very well. Being supportive and positive. But then we had a going away party for him, and it was all downhill from there. I was an emotional mess. How was I going to survive without my best friend?! There would be moments before he left, where we would be hanging out together – I would look at him and just start crying. I kept thinking about all of his little quirks and the memories we shared. There was no doubt in my mind that our relationship wouldn’t work, but I was faced with the reality that it was going to be tough at times. Luckily for me, I have an extremely compassionate guy who reassured me things would be okay.

For those of you out there who are going through a similar long distance love, just remind yourself that distance means nothing when the person at the other end means so much. I understand it may be hard at times, but there are so many different things you can do to keep the relationship alive. Justin and I really try our best to keep our relationship thriving. Here are some ideas that we’ve done so far:

1. Text/Video Chat. We talk everyday, even if it’s not for long. Fortunately, we have grown up in a time where technology is so easily accessible. It’s nice to feel connected to one another while you’re apart. So whenever time permits, we update each other with what’s going on in our lives.

2. Writing. Seeing as I’m also a bit old fashioned, I think it’s important to write each other every now and then. Whether it’s a postcard or a letter. Everyone loves getting mail and it makes it that much more romantic when it’s from the person you love and miss.

3. Date Nights. I know, this sounds silly. How are you supposed to have a date night when your significant other is on a totally different continent? Well, it’s possible! What we do is, we decide on a movie to watch together. Get a few snacks before hand, then video chat each other and start the movie at the exact same time. It feels like you’re side by side, laughing or crying together. I highly recommend this.

4. Trust and Open Communication. Two of the most important qualities to ANY relationship really. It’s very different being so far away from one another. That’s why trust and open communication is so key. Be honest with each other. If something is upsetting you, talk about it and come to a solution together. But, trust in the love that you share and know that it is okay to be apart and have “me” time. As long as you’re being respectful to your partner.

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I’m confident that it will get easier. And, we’ll be a stronger couple because of it all. I’m only about a month into this, so I’m sure there are other strategies to learn in the months and years to come. We really do appreciate all the love and support that we’ve received from family and friends. It’s nice to have a good support system standing behind you!

Paddy, not Patty

With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching (aka tomorrow), I thought it would be a good idea to reflect (and rant) about it. St. Patrick’s is a day for college students to get decked out in green attire, celebrate being “Irish” and drink obnoxiously at the wee hours of the morning!  I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for dressing up. However, I haven’t really had the best track record with St. Patrick’s Day. It usually ends up being a disaster!

With that being said, this is officially the first year I’m not celebrating, because, well, I couldn’t book any time off and I got stuck working. But don’t worry, I’m actually kind of okay with it. This is definitely the first sign of growing up (Not sure how I feel about that yet, I’ll get back to you).

BUT ANYWAY….There are many of you out there who refer to this lucky day as “St. Patty’s” when in actual fact, Patty is the girls nickname for Patricia and therefore incorrect! The short form for Patrick is Paddy (for those of you who didn’t know)…I came across this website, which is just a HUGE rant on idiots who call it St. Patty’s Day. I found it quite humourous and I think more people should educate themselves about the proper short-form for the day we all love to celebrate so much! I’ll let you check it out for yourselves… http://paddynotpatty.com/

So remember folks, when you’re doing your keg stand, or chugging your green beer from the pitcher….It’s St. Paddy’s Day NOT St. Patty! Keep calm and shamrock on people!

xo.